News Digest: Vampires Masquerade as New Warhammer 40K Space Marines with Magic Commanders for Mike Mearls's AMA
  • News Digest: Vampires Masquerade as New Warhammer 40K Space Marines with Magic Commanders for Mike Mearls's AMA

    Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s news. Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition design team announced, teases for the new edition of Warhammer 40,000, Origin Awards nominees announced, a new Pathfinder video game, Mike Mearls does an AMA, and more! Yeah, I stretched more to get this headline than the last one...

    White Wolf’s Berlin by Night event had some big announcements, the biggest being the lead designer of the new edition of Vampire: The Masquerade, Kenneth Hite. Hite is best known for his work on the Decipher and Last Unicorn Star Trek roleplaying games, Gumshoe system games including Trail of Cthulhu and Night’s Black Angels, various GURPS products, and his podcast with Robin D. Laws, Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff. Other members of the team for the Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition include Mary Lee as Art Director, Karim Muammar as Editor in Chief, Martin Ericsson as Lead Storyteller, and Jason Carl as Producer. Hite answered some questions about the game on social media, which are quoted in the EN World coverage of the announcement. The biggest of these are that the storyline is being advanced and that existing canon is being treated as “an unreliable narrator” and that the system will be D10 based but not the Storyteller system. Hite also expressed distaste with the idea of “good” vampires or vampires seeking moral redemption, stating that “Vampires are monsters”.

    This new edition will have no effect on the availability of the 20th Anniversary editions of World of Darkness games through Onyx Path, which recently released new sourcebooks including Lore of the Bloodlines and the Dark Ages Companion.

    Nominees for this year’s Origin Awards were announced. The nominees for Role-Playing Games include 7th Sea: Second Edition by John Wick Presents, Curse of Strahd by Wizards of the Coast, No Thank You Evil by Monte Cook Games, Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Fantasy Flight, Shadowrun – Seattle Sprawl by Catalyst Game Labs, Symbaroum by Jarnringen and Modiphius, Storm King’s Thunder by Wizards of the Coast, Star Wars: Edge of the Empire: Special Modifications by Fantasy Flight Games, The One Ring: Horse Lords of Rohan by Cubicle 7, and Volo’s Guide to Monsters by Wizards of the Coast. Other categories include Family Games, Traditional Card Games, Game Accessories, Board Games, Collectible Games, and Miniatures. The Origins Awards Ceremony takes place on Saturday, June 17 as part of the Origins Game Fair presented by the Game Manufacturer’s Association.

    Pathfinder: Kingmaker is a new computer game from Owlcat Games based on the Pathfinder adventure path Kingmaker. The isometric RPG will have narrative elements written from Chris Avellone, known for his work on Planescape: Torment, Knights of the Old Republic II, Fallout: New Vegas, and many other classic video games. From the announcement:

    Pathfinder: Kingmaker will challenge players as both adventurers and rulers as they will be able to claim explored lands and carve their own kingdom from the wilderness. Kingdom founding will go beyond simple stronghold-building to become a true reflection of the hero’s character and choices made throughout the game. Each kingdom will be a living thing shaped by alignment, choices, allies and the hero’s ability to lead his or her people.

    There is no release date or price announced yet for the game, but there is a sign-up for more notifications on their website.

    While Games Workshop is saving most of the information about the new edition of Warhammer 40,000 for the UK Games Expo, we’ve been given a peek at the Primaris Space Marine, a new type of Space Marine from Primarch Roboute Guilliman on Mars developed in secret by Archmagos Belisarius Cawl. This unit is larger than than other Space Marines, can hold up small-arms fire longer, and can carry bolt rifles with additional range and armor-piercing rounds. While the Primaris Space Marine will cost more points than regular Space Marines, but will not replace the other units. They’ll be somewhat cross-compatible (though some armor parts are not) and can be integrated with other Space Marine armies or used as an army on their own. A Primaris Redemptor Dreadnought was also announced, but no details were revealed.

    Magic: The Gathering Commander Anthology is coming next month from Wizards of the Coast. This set includes four Commander decks from different Commander sets originally released between 2011 to 2015 including all the cards released with those sets, required tokens, and special spindown life counters and deck boxes for each deck. The decks are Heavenly Inferno (a White/Black/Red set with Kaalia of the Vast), Evasive Maneuvers (White/Blue/Green with commander Derevi, Empyrial Tactician), Guided by Nature (Green-only with Freyalise, Llanowar’s Fury), and Plunder the Graves (Blue/Black with Meren of Clan Nel Toth). A recent update from website Manaleak has a full card list for each deck. The set will be on sale on June 9 in your friendly local game store and major retailers on June 9 for an MSRP of $164.99.

    Mike Mearls, the lead designer on Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, did an AMA on Reddit. Our own Morrus took a lot of the work out of reading the archived thread and pulled the most relevant questions out so you don’t need to go through a dozen people asking about Mearls’s favorite class or whether he’d like to fight one hundred Drizzt-sized Tarrasque or a single Tarrasque-sized Drizzt. A few highlights of information: The current full-time creative team for Dungeons & Dragons is ten, there are plans for non-Faerun settings but no details can be announced yet, Mearls’s most common homebrew along with the thing he most wishes he could change is Initiative, and Jason Bulmahn made the toughest Final Boss/BBEG that Mearls ever faced as a player. If you’d prefer, you can read the unedited (and potentially NSFW) thread on Reddit with full comments and all the in-jokes you could want.

    Neo-Anarchist Podcast is a must-listen for any Shadowrun fan. The sound quality isn’t that strong, but it fits with the tone as the podcast is presented as an in-universe pirate broadcast by a Raven shaman giving history lessons on the Sixth World and all the various twists and turns. The show’s host, “Opti”, has made appearances in Shadowrun canon including the Shadowrun Returns: Hong Kong video game. And, just to keep things as meta as always, Opti’s Patreon account is also written as in-universe. The reward levels include custom NPCs to use as contacts, physical rewards like stickers and shirts, and even a $50 level where you can request Opti record a cover song of your choosing with Shadowrun-themed lyrical re-writes.

    Did you really have to ask what Eddy Webb had up his sleeve after Pugmire? Monarchies of Mau is a fantasy roleplaying game where the players are cats. No, you don’t compete to see who can push the most glasses off the table or claw up the most sofas and I may be annoyed with my own cats while writing this. Instead, this is a stand-alone but cross-compatible roleplaying game to Pugmire that details the six different monarchies of cats which have their own rivalries among themselves as well as ancient enemies from throughout the land. The PDF of the core rules are available for a $20 pledge while the physical copy can be added on for a $45 pledge. And if you missed out on Pugmire, you can add that in as a reward as well. This Kickstarter is already fully funded in just a few days and runs until Thursday, June 15.

    Button Men is a fast-playing mafia-themed dice game from Cheapass Games. Each player takes a the role of a different character, which gives them a set of different polyhedral dice. Then you try to capture your opponent’s dice by either rolling higher than one die than another die, or by adding multiple dice together to take one by matching the total exactly. Like other Cheapass Games, there’s a surprising depth to the strategy as any dice you use to capture another die are re-rolled and those totals now used for that die’s strength. So your 15 on a D20 might take your opponent’s 8 on their D10, but you could re-roll that into a 3 making your more valuable D20 easy fodder. The game ends when one side captures all of the other side’s dice, but the winner is whoever has the most points, scored based on both dice captured and dice they haven’t lost. Each character gets different dice, and the game turns from fast-and-simple to a deep rabbit hole of strategy. There’s even a set of rules for a long-term campaign play. If you want to use your own polyhedral dice, you can get the character cards for a $15 pledge, or the starter set with dice for $35 along with many other pledge levels for more options in gameplay like different dice or expansions via factions. This Kickstarter is fully funded and runs until Friday, May 26.

    So let’s take some German and American folklore, wuxia-style action, and Savage Worlds and throw them all in a blender set on frappe. What do you get? The Blackwood from designer Eli Kurtz. This is a fantasy setting of a kingdom set in a large forest where warriors learn how to swing from trees as they fight. If that doesn’t immediately sound awesome on its own, I don’t know what to tell you. The setting requires the Savage Worlds rules along with the Fantasy Companion, but this game includes a lot of new content including 18 Edges, 9 Hindrances, 5 Races, 5 Arcane Backgrounds, new rules to cover the world’s mythology and action style, dozens of new creatures, and a Plot Point Campaign called The Way of the Elder King. A $10 pledge gets you the PDF and a $20 pledge adds on the physical copy. This Kickstarter is still a few hundred dollars short of its funding goal, but has until Friday, May 30 to reach its $5000 goal.

    That’s all from me for this week! Find more gaming crowdfunding news at the EN World RPG Kickstarter News website, and don’t forget to support our Patreon to bring you even more gaming news content. If you have any news to submit, email us at You can follow me on Twitter @Abstruse where I've been surprisingly tweeting a lot about games for once, or you can listen to the archives of the Gamer’s Tavern podcast. Until next time, may all your hits be crits! Note: Links to Amazon and/or DriveThru may contain affiliate links with the proceeds going to the author of this column.
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